heka is a multi-disciplinary artist who spans a myriad of genres through her music. The project was conceptualised by Francesca Brierley who was raised in the scenic Italian hills but now resides in the urban jungle of London. Her sophomore EP (a) has just been announced for release in May on indie label Balloon Machine Records with the first taster of what’s to come arriving in the form of her latest track “(a) wall.”
Speaking about her latest track in a press release, heka mentioned, “I guess the song is an ode to anger. Not in an absolute sense but as the cathartic alternative to the numb powerlessness that can take over and swallow every other emotion when we find ourselves in a painful or shocking situation.”
Indeed, “(a) wall” opens with such a cool and measured opening, you’d struggle to believe that anger could have any involvement with the track itself. Lo-fi drum beats pair with calm and calculated blues-like guitar licks before heka’s vocals take centre stage and add a completely different dimension to proceedings.
Experimental folk is an apt description to describe how heka blends her vocal tones and melodies with the instrumentation around her. Her elongated emphasis on syllables and subtle inclusions of grace notes harken strongly to traditional folk styles of singing, but paired with a lo-fi aesthetic it makes for an intriguing and captivating combination. On top of that, trumpet lines played by Jemima Coulter pepper the sonic arrangement even further, adding jazz vibes to the colorful musical concoction.
heka’s utilization of the word “hate” in lines such as “hate is better than none / ‘cuz I know sooner or later it’s gone,” is particularly intuitive in correlation with the song being a cathartic ode to anger. She explained in the press release: “‘Hate’ in this sense is seen as a way to eventually move past the grief, especially in the face of someone else’s lack of action, or evasiveness, which can be overwhelmingly paralysing.”